16 June

Paddle Board Types Explained – Beginner’s Guide to Understanding SUP

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun water sport with numerous enthusiasts all over the world. The rider will have to stand on top of the board and ride through the water by propelling itself. The difference between surfers and SUP is that paddleboarders can ride on flat water or through high waves, so there are plenty of spots to practice SUP. Whereas, surfers will have to wait for the high tides.

It’s worthy of mentioning that you can choose if you want to do it alone or with a partner. Some boards are large enough to fit two people or a person with a pet comfortably. With the help of the board, you can do a range of activities.

Below, you will find a guide for different types of paddleboards based on their design and the purpose they are best suited for. A complex analysis regarding best paddle board types and uses is provided by experts at StandupPaddleSupply, and here we synthesize the most important aspects and defining traits to help you find the right board, regardless if you intend to use it to paddle recreationally, surf, do yoga or fitness exercises, or even go fishing.


The board should be used in calm waters so you can keep your balance. The good news is that there are classes for this sport in nearly all locations. Thus, you don’t have to know how to do it from the beginning.

Similar to yoga on the ground, you can do all poses as long as you keep your balance. For this to happen, the core must be engaged to follow the board afloat. Doing yoga on the board will kick things up a notch because you must remain focused on the poses to stay on the water and in position.

If you’re looking for tranquility while achieving a full-body workout, you need to look at a board with the following specifications:

  • Width – The board has to be broad to fit your body and different poses. It will also help with balance.
  • Fins – The best choice would be the ones with a single fin as they’re cheaper and they keep the board on the right path.
  • Pad – The pad has to be made from EVA foam or padded to provide you with the comfort you need.

Most importantly, the pad has to provide you with stability and comfort, so you will feel confident to do a range of poses. Furthermore, due to their design, these are also called all-purpose paddleboards.

Inflatable SUP

If you live in a tight living space or if you don’t have space to spare, this is the right paddle board for you. You remove the fin and roll it up in the included carry bag. Furthermore, it is an excellent choice for people who enjoy traveling or exploring the outdoors. When folded, it has a little weight of below 10 lbs.

In the majority of cases, you will also receive a manual pump. With its help, you can inflate the board for up to 15 PSI. Thus, in the end, the board will feel rigid and secure. As many are from military-grade PVC, you don’t have to worry about its durability.

It’s essential to mention that it is a popular choice for beginners. If you consider this board, you can take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Price – In general, these are much more affordable than hard-body boards.
  • Transportation – The included storage bags will fit the requirements of most airlines.
  • Weight – When deflated, it weighs less than fishing equipment.

Without a doubt, this type of board will surprise you with its rigidity. The woven fibers that connect it cannot be easily damaged.

Fishing SUP

The main features of this type of board are smooth tracking and gliding. These boards will help you get to your fishing spot quietly, so you don’t scare the fishes. Furthermore, due to the large surface, you can move around the board without fearing that you will fall over. Additionally, the large boards will offer you enough space to fit all of your equipment.

Most commonly, these boards are designed with double-sided rails to ensure that you remain on the pad even if you’re riding through choppy water. The maximum stability will provide a stable cruise. Next to the rails, you will also have enough space to place your fishing rods or other fishing equipment.

To ensure that you choose the right one, you have to look out for different specifications. Such as:

  • Storage – The more bungee cords and D-rings, the better. They will offer you enough space to store all of your equipment.
  • Material – As you will probably ride through different types of waters, you want to ensure that it doesn’t get punctured due to the rocks or debris in the water.
  • Weight – To ensure that you don’t sink, you have to look out for the maximum weight limit.

The boards are much larger and broader than the other types. Consequently, they’re much more challenging to maneuver. Thus, you need some experience to control it properly.

Racing SUP

When you’ve learned a few skills about stand up paddleboarding, it’s time to put your skills to a test and compete in SUP racing. These boards are designed with narrow fronts to help you gather speed as you paddle. Additionally, they’re up to 28″ long to help you maintain momentum. Nonetheless, boats that are up to 26″ are faster, but they’re more challenging to control in choppy water and high winds.

Another feature that stands out about these boards is the fact that they have up to 3-fins to keep you on the right track at high speed. Also, the diamond groove decks are a popular choice because it will ensure superior traction so you can race in windy conditions.

When looking at paddle boards for racing, you should look out for the following features:

  • Accessories – The more accessories are included in the package, the less you will have to invest in the future.
  • Body – You can choose between an inflatable or a hard-body construction. A hard-body is a popular choice among racers.
  • Tail Shape – This is one of the essential sections of such a board as it will determine how well you move in the water.

The construction of the board is also critical. You can look out for the models made out of carbon construction as they’re lightweight and also positively impacts the speed. However, they are more expensive.


As you can see, these boards are designed for specific uses. Whatever you choose depends on what your needs are. You should do thorough research beforehand to ensure that you purchase the one suitable for you. If you’re someone that likes to cruise and to explore, an all-purpose board like a yoga SUP is an excellent choice.